Pacific Northwest - Day 13 - Yellowstone Natl. Park, Grand Prismatic Spring & more Geothermic stuff
Yellowstone National Park Travel Blog› entry 975 of 1090 › view all entries
Another day in beautiful Yellowstone National Park. Today we would enjoy three other aspects of the park: Wildlife (bison), a waterfall, and its most famous feature, the Geothermics. The latter is caused by the fact that Yellowstone is located on top of a supervolcano. Lava is really close to the surface. Unlike in Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii the lava does not surface. Everything is below the surface. The only indications one gets from the presence of the heat of the inner earth are the geysers and hot springs, and of course the nice smell of Hydrogen Sulfide H2S gas (rotten eggs smell).
This is what we did today:
1) Saw some bison, also with calves:
The bison in Yellowstone National Park are American Bison. The Yellowstone herd is probably the only remaining herd that still exists in its original environment without be re-introduced.
2) Visit the Grand Prismatic Spring:
The Grand Prismatic Spring (see it on the map here) is one of the most beautiful natural occurrences I have ever seen. It is a combination of the best of physics, geology, biology, and chemistry. The pool is with a dimension of 80 by 90 meters (250 by 300 feet) the third largest in the world. It is approximately 50 meters (160 feet) deep. Every minute it generates about 2100 liters (560 US gallons) of hot water (70 °C (160 °F)). Because of this high temperature the water is extremely pure. The combination of the depth of the pool and the purity of the water yields a deep blue water colour. At the edge of the spring, where the hot water overflows grow thermophiles. These organisms (bacteria) have very deep colours which vary based on the temperature of the water in which they live.
The beauty of the spring can best seen from a higher altitude. That is why many visitors climb the hill behind the pool. Which we did too. We ware amazed!
3) Fairy Falls, Spray Geyser, and Imperial Geyser
These three can be found on the map here, here, and here. Fairy Falls is a 60-meter (197-feet) high small waterfall about 3.3 kilometers (2 miles) from the Prismatic Spring, a nice hike and not as packed with tourists as the boardwalks. One extra kilometer (0.6 miles) of hiking brings you to the Spray Geyser and the Imperial Geyser. By far no Old Faithful like Geysers but they discharge almost continuously and there are no or hardly other visitors. Some fellow hikers gave us well meant direction but sent us into the wrong direction.
4) Other Geyser basins
Close tot the Grand Prismatic Spring basis are many other basins. None of them is as big as the Prismatic Spring but that does not mean they are less interesting. Basins like Biscuit Basin, Black Sand Basin, and Lower Geyser Basin comprise real treasures, again with active geysers, deep blue pools, and colourful thermophiles. Especially if the sun co-operates, like today, you get true stunning views.
Many, many many pictures and also several videos below!